An offshore campus of IIT Madras in Tanzania is among the options on the government’s table as it works on a plan to ensure the country’s premier engineering institutes have a presence on the world map.
The recommendations made in a draft report prepared by a 16-member committee — headed by IIT Council standing committee chairperson Dr K Radhakrishnan — are acting as a possible roadmap for the expansion plans, according to officials privy to the developments.
IIT Madras Director Prof V Kamakoti told The Indian Express that apart from Tanzania and other African countries, the institute has also received requests from Sri Lanka and Nepal for campuses to offer courses in emerging areas such as data sciences and artificial intelligence as well as energy systems.
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“IIT Madras is in discussions with multiple countries, including Tanzania, regarding offshore campuses. We are considering many of these places. For African countries, programmes in mining are very important. In Nepal, there are demands for courses on energy systems. Courses in data sciences are in demand everywhere,” Prof Kamakoti said.
Discussions are underway to figure out if individual IITs should make forays abroad, or multiple IITs should jointly attempt to do so. Prof Kamakoti was among the seven IIT directors in the Radhakrishnan committee. Efforts are also being made to study the market demand in some of the countries which have placed requests for getting offshore campuses of Indian institutions.
“We are looking at what sort of courses can be offered. There may be some country-specific courses on offer, as for some countries, some topics can be of relevance. We will be arriving at different models based on feasibility, employment potential in those countries,” Prof Kamakoti said.